Two Side to Mykki Blanco

by: Diego Martínez

August 22, 2012

Frank Ocean’s coming out revelation, made public on the eve of his channel ORANGE release, garnered front-page headlines around the world for all the right reasons. Given hip-hop and rap’s long-standing view on homophobia, the singer and his eloquent exposition provoked quite the stir and forced the music industry to reevaluate on such issues once and for all.

Mykki Blanco transgender music Wild magazine

But despite the fact that it was indeed groundbreaking, Ocean has never been alone in his struggle. Folks like Zebra Katz and Le1f can surely testify. Meanwhile, years back, Michael David Quattlebaum, Jr. had experienced a teenage life in NYC dressing up as a girl, as he confessed to Interview. Quattlebaum, raised between San Mateo, California, and Raleigh, North Carolina, is a multi-facetic machine: he’s a poet, rapper, actor and author. An all-round multimedia performance artist who so happens to let his feminine side blossom in the shape of the sassy and flow-worthy Mykki Blanco. 

As the man further explained on Interview, Mykki was a work in progress complemented with his acclaimed visceral poetry, exposed on the book From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys. Written rhymes led to constant shows in city venues, eventually creating a distinct hype that preceded his first EP Mykki Blanco & the Mutant Angels, his collaboration with Terry Richardson for Happy Socks and plenty of more gigs alongside Gang Gang Dance and ARABMUSIK, to name a few. 

Quattlebaum’s lyrics as sung by Mykki Blanco reflect on his confidence as a full-on queen, but he refuses to go along the ‘gay rapper’ tag when he describes his work as “a mixture of riot grrrl and ghetto fabulousness.” With a mixtape on the oven and ready to be released later this year, it is likely that we’ll witness some more of his hard attack on music. Take his latest single “Wawwy,” produced by rising producer Brenmar, which shows why his (or her) versatility should be taken for real. That same versatility shines through on the Franceso Carrozzini-directed video, where he appears in and out of drag and enjoying it all the while.

Could a sassy queen really conquer the mainstream? Only time will tell, but we’ll be waiting patiently for Mykki to claim her crown.


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